What is malware?

Malware is a blanket term for a malicious piece of software, such as a virus, a worm, ransomware, or spyware. These are used by cyber criminals to cause destruction and steal your sensitive data.

There are three main types of malware:malware

A worm – A worm is a one-off piece of malicious software that travels from computer to computer by reproducing itself.

A trojan – Unlike worm software, a trojan does not reproduce itself. It masks itself as something that you are familiar with, so you accidentally activate it and then it starts spreading.

A virus – A virus is a specific computer code that inserts itself into the code of another program and starts spreading so the malicious action can be done.

Within these categories, there are a number of other types of malware that can be categorised by what they do once they have made their way onto your system.

Some of these are a lot more common than others, with ransomware becoming more and more abundant. The most common attack vector is via spam or phishing email. It’s so easy for a hacker to create a realistic looking email appearing to be from somebody you trust, and all it takes it one accidental click and your system could be infected.

Malware can enter your system in many different ways:

  • A targeted attack through an email
  • A link or file download
  • Can be manually inserted if the hacker can gain physical access to the computer

What’s the best way to protect yourself from malware?

The best way to prevent these attacks are with a combination of spam filtering, 365 monitoring, patch management and employee cyber security training.

malware

Even if you have an extremely strong security system in place, without security training, unaware employees can easily allow malware to enter your system.

When it comes to security software, using a combination of security tools prevents vulnerabilities in your system and keeps everything up to date. Cyber criminals often look for weaknesses in your system and target that as a way in. The software allows us to constantly monitor your systems for any suspicious activity so we can alert you and stop the malicious activity from developing.

In case something were to happen, it’s always important to have a backup copy of all of your data saved onto the cloud in case of a ransomware attack. This means that if you are targeted and locked out of your system you will still always have access to your files.

Want to learn more? Contact us today.